Ray Jennings © Getty Images
Ray Jennings said he wanted to achieve a lot with the Under-19 team © Getty Images

 

Johannesburg: Apr 26, 2014

 

South African Under-19 coach Ray Jennings is ‘devastated’ after Cricket South Africa (CSA) removed him as Under-19 coach, barely two months after he guided the team to the country’s first-ever win in a World Cup tournament.

 

“It was devastating when Corrie van Zyl (CSA General Manager) called me with the news,” Jennings told the Afrikaans daily Beeld after CSA decided to replace him with Lawrence Mahatlane as part of transformation plans to bring in more Black management and players to South African sides.

 

“Even though we won the World Cup this year, there was so much more that I wanted to achieve with the team. When the position was advertised earlier, I also applied for it. It’s my passion to work with young players and raise them to one day play for the senior national squad.

 

“Now that mat has been pulled from under my feet, but I don’t want to say too much and get into a fight with CSA. The possibility of retaining me in some capacity has been mentioned, but the reality is that in a few days I will be unemployed.

 

“Van Zyl told the daily that CSA is keen to retain Jennings and a proposition had been put to him, adding that although change was inevitable, it was unfair to say that politics had played a role in it.

 

Earlier, South African Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula had threatened to intervene if sports bodies did not take charge of affirmative action to empower Blacks who were denied opportunities to play for their country due to apartheid-era laws dictating separation of sporting activities by race.

 

CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat also confirmed that CSA was keen to retain Jennings.

 

“It’s possible that he could be involved with one of our senior franchises and one of the national teams in some way or the other,” Lorgat said.